Three Little Words

Three Little Words Blog Post Illustration

There’s something magical about the number three…just ask Aristotle, Goldilocks, or that fearless trio of Gryffindors. Whether the end result is a three-act play, a fairy tale, or a bestselling novel, it’s no secret that wordsmiths (like me) rely on the Rule of Three.

Of course, this approach isn’t limited to writers. Artists, composers, musicians, dancers, photographers, scientists, and even mathematicians employ some version of this rhythmic rule. A triad provides enough information to form a pattern, creating the perfect snapshot of a group’s individual characteristics as well as the whole. Plus, it sets up a satisfying sequence: blood, sweat, and tears; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; Harry, Ron, and Hermione (you get the triptych).

The Rule of Three holds firm in the business realm as well. Before we dive into a project together, I often ask my prospective clients to sum up their ideal “tone of voice” in three little words. Sometimes they fire back quickly, but often this task requires some collaborative brainstorming. Like an effective Logo, each of the three words must be clear, distinctive, and memorable. Have a look at some real responses:

simple, direct, personal

fun, sophisticated, light

comforting, reliable, intelligent

warm, genuine, whimsical

authoritative, five-star, responsive

intuitive, empathetic, patient

organic, happy, bright

Feel the magic? It’s like a “cheat sheet” telling your brain how to categorize and understand these groups…without even knowing exactly what they do! With that in mind, can you guess which of the above sets belongs to Parfait Studio? 🙂

I tuck this little hat trick up my sleeve and refer to it frequently while writing and designing for my clients (and for my own business). Does this paragraph feel right? Check the words. Is this image on-brand? Check the words. Did we push our concept too far? Check ’em again (triple-check for the win)!

When you’re launching a small startup, rebranding an established business, or embarking on another creative journey, it’s vital to grasp the “who, what, where, why, and how” of your endeavors. Nailing your three little words helps determine “what” tone of voice you’re projecting and “how” you’d like to be perceived in the world. Once that’s sorted, your message has the power to hit home with purpose, style, and consistency.

Ready to give my not-so-secret weapon a try? Once you’ve pinpointed your words, find a way to keep them on the tip of your tongue forevermore! Scribble them sky-high on a white board, incorporate them into your “About” copy, immortalize them in a company-wide email — whatever it takes to cement that trio into your professional psyche — it’s worth doing. If you’re stuck and need a little nudging, I’m always here to help. And, naturally, I’d love to know your three little words, so shoot ’em on over.

Now, go forth and let the magical number three cast its spell on your marketing tools! With a bit of finessing, you’ll find a fit that’s “just right” for your one-of-a-kind story…and not even Goldilocks can mess with that.

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